Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All hallows

Already eagerly prepping for Halloween. I don't buy much in the way of holiday decorations, I'm not really a seasonal decorator by nature. But we do have alot of fun making them.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The anxiety

Things get dicey while Mama is away. Mark took this photo when I went to the bathroom.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


On Monday we got a sneak peek at the new Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall. It's still quite unfinished but obviously amazing. We were there for a film shoot for 6ABC. They filmed kids playing with some of the exhibits. If the boys show up in any footage I will post it. But we really just went because we were itchin to see the new spot and it did not disappoint.

Curled up

Yesterday morning Ray curled up to watch Sesame Street. He really adores Elmo and Ernie.


Noah has always enjoyed doing art. Lately he is taking great leaps in drawing more representationally. He painted this cat mask during our art group and he did the design and colors with no help. And this morning he drew this picture of the mask.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I think he has a future in customer service.

(Pointing to his hand is how Ray signs "want.")

Adventures in a Chickfila bathroom

Ahhh... kids in a public restroom. It never gets old.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I did it! Hooray.

Mark comes home this evening. And I have to admit this week went really well. We stayed busy, had visitors, had fun and every one was on their best behavior. Noah really was helpful and patient. He helped watch Ray while I showered in the morning and he waited quietly lying in bed while I put Ray to sleep so that I could then lie down and hold him. The boys even slept better than usual. It was nice.

That isn’t to say I’m not exhausted. Or that I enjoyed a whole bunch of me time. Mostly I tried to keep up with the housework when I had a spare moment. If Mark had to be away regularly I’d have to get some sort of maid service or move into a sparse studio that was easier to pick up.

And of course we missed Mark a great deal. Though it would have been worse if we weren’t constantly sending each other texts and photos. Ya gotta love technology.

In unfortunate news Ray and I came down with colds this week. He's all snotty and I'm losing my voice. I'm sure Mark is eager to come home to our den of germs.

Noah is back to school and loving it. One of his teachers is his favorite teacher from last year who got moved to a different classroom mid-year. He’s already asked me if he could have a sleep over at her house. He is also quite proud of the fact that now instead of having his class in a giant, toy-filled playroom that they sit at tables like big kids. They do a lot more art and paper work and move around to different areas like the playground and gym for more active times.

Spurred by the new PBS show Sid the Science Kid I bought Noah a notebook to be his journal. He’s head over heels for it. He’s been drawing little pictures and words to describe what he does during the day. He’s also been drawing his favorite things and taking measurements and recording them. He keeps telling me how cool it is and how much he loves it.

Ray is being very vocal. Just repeating sounds over and over again. He calls me both “Mama” and “Mommy” and sometimes he just blabbers on with the “Maaa-Meeee. Maaa- Meeeee. Maaaa-Maaaaa. Maaa-Meeee.” It’s super cute but honestly a little nerve wracking when it goes on for too long… (and I can’t think.) He says approximations of a couple of words but I wouldn’t say he has much of a firm vocab aside from Mama, Daddy and “Hi-yeee!” He makes certain sounds for dog, cat and book but I don’t think they are recognizable to most yet so I don’t count them. He is very firm with his sign for “more” which he really uses to mean “want.” If he catches a glimpse of you eating anything he wants it. And he wants it now. He is a bit of a bruiser and he has a definite temper. Occasionally when he’s frustrated he’ll swat at me, Noah or an inanimate object. I give him a stern “No hitting” and in return I get a crumpled up face and a whine. It won’t be long before he’ll be using sheer force to win all the battles with his big brother. Luckily aside from a temper he really is a good-natured, fun-loving guy. He smiles so big and so easily. And he just loves to be out in the world, seeing things and moving around. And I as I write that I have to admit I’m once again thinking “Like me. Oh GOD, he’s just like me.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anything but routine

It seems to me that no matter if you have one kid, two kids or five kids, having some basic routines down makes it a hell of a lot more manageable. Sure kids are constantly changing and you have to adapt and be okay with the occasional wrench in the works, but it is a huge help having down your general time schedule - how you do things and when. And the schedules help the kids too. Kids love repetition and a routine. It gives them a sense of security and confidence. As a mother I love a plan and a routine. They are life-saving.

So imagine the trepidation with which I enter this week. Mark, my co-pilot, is off to Sacramento for a business trip. And here I am without a second set of hands and my best friend with whom I share the details of my every day. It’s just me and the boys for five days, 24-7. Sighhh….

I know I can do it. I am a fully capable mother who manages two vivacious, young boys for long stretches of time all by myself. It’s just… MY SCHEDULE!!! Every morning I get my shower before Mark leaves for work so that no one goes unsupervised while I bathe. CAN I NOT SHOWER? Every night Mark does the dishes after I make dinner. WILL WE HAVE CLEAN PLATES? Every night we bathe the boys together and then Noah and Mark “do a story” while I put Ray to bed. CAN I GET BOTH BOYS TO BED ALL BY MYSELF? And when Noah wakes up in the middle of the night Mark typically goes to comfort him so that I’m not downstairs with Noah when Ray wakes up to nurse. WILL WE GET ANY SLEEP? And every night after a long day of kids, kids, kids I talk and relax with my husband. CAN I GET THROUGH A WEEK OF LONELINESS?

Thankfully I have been able to enlist a few friends and family members for some help and visits. I’m hoping to transform it into a fun, adventurous week rather than a “let’s sit around and pine for Daddy week.” But I may have already made a huge mistake. Worried about putting the boys to bed separately and having to run up and down the stairs between them in the middle of the night I told Noah he could sleep upstairs in my bed this week. Now I’m thinking they will just keep waking each other up. I pray the sleeping Gods are kind to me.

Mark is such an involved father. He really is invaluable. I am thankful that his job rarely requires any overtime and that this is his very first trip away from us. When I think of how single parents do it, or even parents whose mate isn’t very involved I am flummoxed. Which brings me to politics. Ahem. Bear with me. I have a lot of stuff backing up about this because I’ve been trying to be good and not spout off angrily too often. When Palin was first announced I was blown away that a mother with a newborn baby would head out on the relentless 24-7 campaign trail. And then someone asked me if that was sexist and I said No – I don’t have much respect for a father of a newborn that would take that much time away from their family at such a critical developmental stage. To which someone reminded me that JFK had very young children. Uninvolved fathers were de rigueur in the 60’s but that doesn’t mean I think it’s acceptable now. I guess family values means something altogether different to me than Mrs. Palin. Of course I’m NOT an NRA member, pro-capital punishment, anti-equality, endangered species hating, BUSH doctrine following, pro-life creationist either. Ahem.

So… Mark leaves very early in the morning. Send positive thoughts to me. Oh and sleep. Plenty of sleep. That makes everything easier to handle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Ray plays in the bubbles after the water is drained while Noah enjoys post-bath cleanliness.

Squeaky clean